Nikki Haley, President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to the UN, said on Wednesday that she is committed to longstanding U.S. policy on the issue of settlement expansion.
“I do understand how they think that could hinder peace,” Haley said during her confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when pressed on the issue by Senator Tom Udall (D-NM).
“But my question is are you committed to the bipartisan policy on settlements?” Udall pressed the South Carolina Governor.
“Yes, I am,” Haley responded.
Asked by Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) if the incoming Trump Administration is also committed to the longstanding policy on the issue of settlements, Haley said, “I have not heard anything different.”
Haley also stated she supports the two-state solution. But she was quick to point out that the recent UN resolution (UNSC 2334), which assailed Israel for its continued settlement construction, was “very harmful to achieving a two-state solution.”
“We need to let the two bodies resolves this themselves,” she asserted. “That is what has always taken place, and I think it’s dangerous when the UN starts to tell two different bodies what should and shouldn’t happen.”
The South Carolina governor also promised a changed US policy at the international body. “I will not go to New York and abstain when the UN seeks to create an international environment that encourages boycotts of Israel,” she said.
In contrast to the nominee for Secretary of Defense James Mattis who punted when asked if the U.S. should move its Embassy to Jerusalem, Haley told Senators she “absolutely” backs the relocation. “And not only is that what Israel wants, but that is what this Congress has said that is what they support,” she added.
The nominee lambasted the international organization for its decades long treatment of the Jewish state. “Nowhere has the U.N.’s failure been more consistent and more outrageous than in its bias against our close ally, Israel.” Haley focused on the hypocrisy of the UN towards Israel. “In the General Assembly session just completed, the UN adopted twenty resolutions against Israel and only six targeting the rest of the world’s countries combined,”
When asked about a proposal by Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Lindsay Graham (R-SC) to cut funding from the UN because of UNSC resolution 2334, Haley rejected such an approach. “I do not believe we need to pull money from the UN. I do not believe in slash and burn,” she said.
Last week, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution condemning the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. Udall introduced an amendment “reaffirming that it is also the policy of the United States to discourage settlement building.” Kaine and Cory Booker ((D-NJ) were among seven Democrats who supported the revision. Nonetheless, the amendment failed to pass as the other members of the committee including three Democrats — Robert Menendez (NJ), Ben Cardin (MD) & Christopher Coons (DE) — joined the remaining eleven Republican members on the committee to oppose the provision.